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[02/27/06 - 12:00 AM]
Development Update: February 27
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The latest development news, culled from recent wire reports:

Looking to keep track of all the various projects in development? Click here to visit our newly branded "Devwatch" section. There visitors can view our listings by network, genre, studio and even development stage (ordered to pilot, cast-contingent, script, etc.). It's updated every day!

52 FIGHTS (ABC) - Christine Taylor (Sally Sitwell on "Arrested Development") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a newly married couple's transition from dating to marriage. Her involvement however doesn't life the cast contingency off the pilot's production. Alex Taub is behind the Touchstone Television-based half-hour, which is also executive produced by Brillstein-Grey Television's Peter Traugott.

BEYOND (FOX) - Feature helmer Breck Eisner ("Sahara") has signed on to direct the drama pilot, about the efforts of a group of scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to win the next space race, following an unspecified global crisis. Jonah Lotan and Rachael Stirling star in the 20th Century Fox Television/Imagine Television-based hour, which comes from creator David Self and fellow executive producers Brian Grazer and David Nevins.

DAY BREAK (ABC) - Adam Baldwin (Danny Love on "The Inside") is the latest addition to the pilot, a serialized drama about a cop (Taye Diggs) on the run after being framed for murder. He'll play Chad Shelton, a grizzled police veteran, in the Touchstone Television-based hour, which Rob S. Bowman is directing from a script by Paul Zbyszewski. Moon Bloodgood, Meta Golding and Ramon Rodriguez also star while Matthew Gross also serves as an executive producer.

THE GAME (The CW) - Tia Mowry (Kim on "Love, Inc.") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, where she'll take over the role of Melanie from Cynthia Addai-Robinson. No reason was given for the change. Coby Bell, Hosea Chanchez, Aldis Hodge and Wendy Raquel Robinson also star in the CBS Paramount Network Television/Grammnet Productions-based half-hour, about a group of women involved with professional football players. Salim Akil is directing from a script by Mara Brock Akil, who will also executive produce along with Dan Dugan, Kelsey Grammer and Steve Stark.

A HOUSE DIVIDED (ABC) - Shannon Lucio (Lindsay Gardner on "The O.C.") is the first to be cast in the drama pilot, about the escalating conflict between a Midwest farming community and the U.S. government that sows the seeds of what will be the next Civil War in present-day America. Andrew David Chapman is behind the hour, which also comes from executive producer Mark Gordon, director Michael Rymer and Touchstone Television.

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY (ABC) - Jonathan Silverman (Jonathan Eliot on "The Single Guy") has been tapped for the lead role in the comedy pilot, about four childhood friends who realize their lives didn't turn out as expected. He'll play Harry Kennison in the Touchstone Television-based half-hour, who's described in the casting notice as: "Mid-late 30s, an attractive, slightly neurotic, nervous, lovable guy (he was kicked off his high school debate team "for continually debating himself"), Harry's a divorced father of a six year old boy, whose promise as a writer has devolved into a career writing Hallmark greeting cards. Fully aware that he's never become the person he dreamed of being, Harry is nevertheless a fundamentally decent guy: bright, caring, pragmatic, understanding. Terribly embarrassed when he goes to a "massage parlor" for the first time only to find his hooker is the former Valedictorian of his high school, Harry discovers firsthand that two other high school friends are also having a tough night and a tough time dealing with life: Sherman, a renowned diet doctor who's just hijacked an Entenmann's pastry truck, and Jason, who's unsuccessfully attempted suicide because of a corporate scandal. Harry's the guy they call "in case of emergency," but Harry has to wonder who he can call." Greg Germann and Kelly Hu also star in the project, which Jon Favreau is directing from a script by Howard J. Morris. Emile Levisetti also serves as an executive produce via Bushwacker Productions.

INSEPARABLE (CBS) - Coby Ryan McLaughlin (Todd on "Undressed") and Krysten Ritter (Gia Goodman on "Veronica Mars") have both joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a young couple who have to deal with the wife's extended family. They'll play Brian and Melinda respectively in the NBC Universal Television-based half-hour, which also stars Rachel Boston. McLaughlin also stars in the lead role of the FOX comedy pilot "Genetically Challenged." In addition, Pamela Fryman ("How I Met Your Mother") has signed on to direct the project from a script by creators Joe Port and Joe Wiseman. David Guarascio and Moses Port also serve as executive producers.

OCTOBER ROAD (ABC) - Jay Paulson ("Imaginary Heroes") is the latest to join the cast of the drama pilot, about a Manhattan-based screenwriter who moves back home to his small New England hometown, where he becomes a teacher and must readjust to life with his family and old friends. No details were given about his character. Brad Henke, Evan Jones and Geoff Stults also star in the Touchstone Television-based hour, which Gary Fleder is directing from a script by executive producers Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg.

OUR THIRTIES (ABC) - Rashida Jones (Carla Merced on "Wanted") has joined the cast of the comedy pilot, about a group of San Francisco-based thirtysomethings dealing with adulthood. Rachel Blanchard, Sarah Lafleur, Heather Stephens and Dondre T. Whitfield also star in the Touchstone Television-based project, which comes from creator Dave Walpert and executive producer Warren Littlefield. Dennie Gordon directs.

PRODIGY/BULLY (NBC, New!) - Hank Perlman ("New Jersey Turnpikes") and Steve Elliott have scored a pilot order at the Peacock for a new single-camera comedy about a family whose genius son uses his smarts to get what he wants. The project is set up at John Wells's Warner Bros. Television-based banner with Wells, Paris Barclay ("The West Wing") and Jon Feldman ("Reunion") serving as executive producers. Perlman will also direct from a script he co-wrote with Elliott.

RUNAWAY (The CW, New!) - Chad Hodge ("Tru Calling") has landed a pilot commitment from the CW for a new drama about a family who become fugitives in order to prove the innocence of the family's patriarch - who's convicted of murder. The project, which was originally developed by UPN, is set up at Darren Star's Sony Pictures Television-based banner with Hodge writing and executive producing along with Star and Ed Zuckerman.

THE SINGLES TABLE (NBC) - Adam Bernstein ("Scrubs") has signed on to direct the single-camera comedy pilot, about five single people who meet at a wedding and develop bonds. Bill Martin and Mike Schiff are behind the project, which is set up at 20th Century Fox Television.

SOUTHERN COMFORT (FOX) - Madeleine Stowe (CBS's "Saving Milly") has been tapped for the lead role in the drama pilot, about the wife of a mob boss who's thrust into running their Biloxi, Mississippi-based organized crime operation. She'll play Charlotte, said woman, in the project, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television and creators Joe Gayton and Tony Gayton. Greg Yaitanes directs.

'TIL DEATH (FOX) - Brad Garrett (Robert Barone in "Everybody Loves Raymond") and James Burrows ("Will & Grace") are both in talks to sign onto the comedy pilot, about a just-married young couple who move in next door to a long-married couple. Garrett would play the long-married husband while Burrows would direct the Sony Pictures Television-based half-hour, which comes from creators Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa. Eddie Kaye Thomas also stars.

WOMEN IN LAW (ABC) - Regina King ("Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous") is in talks and Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon (Nora Gage on "Eyes") and Jill Ritchie ("Herbie: Fully Loaded") are set to join the cast of the drama pilot, about a group of women working at a law firm. The trio would join the previously cast Kelli Williams in the Sony Pictures Television-based hour, which comes from creators Steven Banks and Claudia Grazioso. Carl Beverly and Sarah Timberman of 25C Productions also serve as executive producers on the project, which Robert Luketic is directing.

Sources: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters





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· 52 FIGHTS (ABC)
· ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (NETFLIX)
· BEYOND (FOX)
· DAY BREAK (ABC)
· EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND (CBS)
· EYES (ABC)
· GAME, THE (BET)
· GENETICALLY CHALLENGED (FOX)
· HIGH BAR (ABC)
· HOUSE DIVIDED, A (ABC)
· HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (CBS)
· IN CASE OF EMERGENCY (ABC)
· INSEPARABLE (CBS)
· INSIDE, THE (FOX)
· LOVE, INC. (UPN)
· OC, THE (FOX)
· OCTOBER ROAD (ABC)
· OUR THIRTIES (ABC)
· PRODIGY/BULLY (NBC)
· REUNION (FOX)
· RUNAWAY (CW)
· SAVING MILLY (CBS)
· SCRUBS (ABC)
· SINGLES TABLE, THE (NBC)
· 'TIL DEATH (FOX)
· TRU CALLING (FOX)
· VERONICA MARS (CW)
· WANTED (TNT)
· WEST WING, THE (NBC)
· WILL & GRACE (NBC)





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